Posted: 29 April 2006 at 10:02pm | IP Logged
Off the record
Nepotism, sexual favours, romance, arm-twisting. That's the latest from the piracyplagued Bollywood music industry, reports Meena Iyer
The biggest enemy of the Hindi music industry is not falling revenues, piracy or the transgressions of the internet. It is the industry itself. It is a world fragmented by fighting camps and is replete with salacious tales of favouritism. It is said that Annu Malik prefers to have Shreya Ghoshal dub all his female tracks. Though Annu says, "I have never played favourites. For me Sunidhi Chauhan, Alisha Chinai, Alka Yagnik and Shreya Ghoshal are all the same," recording rooms are groaning that the young Bengali singing sensation is the chosen one.
Falling in this groove is Aadesh Shrivastava who is keen to revive wife Vijayeta Pandit's singing career. Even a top hero wants his sister to sing in every one of his films. On the one hand, the favours of love and transitory infatuation are interfering with the growth of singers who are a patron short. On the other hand, the music industry has been hit hard by ego battles. Annu Mallik and Himesh Reshammiya, for instance, are in the middle of such a battle. Since Himesh won accolades for the title track of T-Series' Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, it is said that Annu has sworn never to work with him again. While one sees Annu's action as the natural reaction of a disgruntled music director, others see a big fight in the offing. Himesh says, "I asked for a NOC (no-objection certificate) from Annuji before composing that one track. And only when T-Series showed me the NOC did I agree to record."
But then what does Himesh have to say about the endless accusations of dubbing the best tracks originally recorded by singers like Sonu Niigaam, Kakkay and Shaan? "Never, never," he says.
"Sonu Niigaam is the most talented playback singer in Bollywood. I would never dream of dubbing his song."
Himesh also adds, "I'm not power-drunk just because my songs are a hit right now. Everyone knows how fickle the film business is. I'm on top this Friday, next week it could be another guy. God, it is blasphemous to even suggest that I will play dirty with anyone."
The fact though is that the Hindi music scene has always been a hotbed of controversy. Time was when the Mangeshkar sisters called the shots. Lata Mangeshkar refused to record for the biggest showman Raj Kapoor for almost a decade because his music directors Shankar-Jaikishen introduced the Sharda in a film.
Lata reportedly threatened not to tie a rakhi to Yash Chopra if he didn't have her singing in every film of his.
While O P Nayyar favoured Asha Bhonsle, Vani Jayaram (of the 'Bole re papihara' fame) never made it to the heights that she should have because she refused to give in to the advances of a world-renowned music director.
"The casting couch is as prevalent in the music industry as it is in the film business," says trade analyst Amod Mehra.
"There are scores of girls from Indian Idol and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa who never become playback singers because they turn down the advances of music directors," he adds.
When one begins to learn of the amorous strayings in the music world, one would want to listen to its deceptive songs about true love with canned laughter. TNN
Sorurce : times of india news paper ( mumbai)